The transparency most needed

If we want more transparency in the world, explains today’s contributor, letting God’s light work its purifying effect in our own lives is an important step.

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There is an outcry across the world for more transparency. This desire for openness is nothing new. Transparency brings whatever is wrong to light so that it can be corrected for the benefit of everyone.

In this regard, experience has shown me that the light most needed is spiritual – light from God, divine Love, that purifies consciousness and redirects actions. And if we want to see more transparency in society, we need to start with ourselves. We need to let God’s spiritual illumination work its purifying effect in our own lives.

Christ Jesus told his disciples that they were the “light of the world” and that they should not hide that light “under a bushel” (Matthew 5:14, 15). His teachings reveal man’s true nature as found in the divine Spirit, which is all goodness and light; no evil, no darkness, can hide or even exist there. The Apostle Paul wrote, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). We need to let our lives be transparent enough for God’s goodness to shine through for everyone’s benefit.

I caught a glimpse of what it means to live this kind of transparency some years ago when visiting a friend in a hospital. I prayed to have a clear enough spiritual consciousness so that I would not get weighed down by my friend’s difficulties, but instead my visit would actually contribute to her recovery. The thought came to me that the sun’s rays aren’t affected by what they shine on; they simply shine out from their source and shed light on everything in their path. I saw a connection with the teachings of Christian Science – that God, Spirit, the divine source from which our true being shines, fills all space, and that there is no unpleasantness in Spirit or Spirit’s expression.

So I acknowledged Spirit’s presence and trusted Spirit to shine through me in that hospital. And my friend and I both felt God’s healing love during that visit.

Just as nothing can come between the sun and its rays, nothing can come between Spirit and its purifying light. But in order for spiritual light and its healing effect to be seen, the human mind must become transparent enough for that light to shine through. And that is something we can each give our daily attention to.

This passage in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, has the marginal heading “Goodness transparent” and has been especially helpful to me: “The manifestation of God through mortals is as light passing through the window-pane. The light and the glass never mingle, but as matter, the glass is less opaque than the walls. The mortal mind through which Truth appears most vividly is that one which has lost much materiality – much error – in order to become a better transparency for Truth. Then, like a cloud melting into thin vapor, it no longer hides the sun” (p. 295).

It’s a wonderful thing to realize that we truly are inseparable from God, divine Truth – that we are actually the light coming from God. To our material senses that is not at all what we seem to be. To think of our consciousness, however, as a windowpane through which the light of divine Truth can shine, can inspire us to let that windowpane become as shiny clean as possible.

It is divine Love that brings spiritual purification, healing, and reformation into human thought and lives. The role for you and me is to humbly yield to God’s power to expose and remove whatever in our thoughts or character is unlike God. God’s love does this in the way light always displaces darkness. Man in God’s spiritual likeness is not only light, but the solvent that dissolves whatever would cloud our consciousness and hide Truth. In proportion as we willingly and joyfully consent to what God, divine Love, is revealing to us of our likeness to Him, sickness and sinful tendencies are displaced.

We all want a world where transparency is lived – where selfish, harmful thoughts and acts cannot hide. Progress in this direction comes by letting Spirit’s cleansing love shine more brightly in and through our own consciousness and character, enabling the cleansing light of Spirit to do its work of healing in us and to shine out with healing for the world.

Adapted from an editorial published in the April 1, 2019, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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